North Salem, N.Y. – Sept. 15, 2017 – As competition at the American Gold Cup came to an end on Friday, excitement continues to build for Sunday’s grand finale, which will play host to the eastern sub-league’s second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. The 2017/2018 season kicked off in August at International Bromont and athletes are already fighting for valuable qualifying points towards the finals, which will be held in Paris, France, in 2018. Friday’s feature event on the Grand Prix Field, the $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W, presented by Windsor Show Stables, determined the roster of challengers for Sunday’s main event, and it was junior athlete Lucy Deslauriers who bested the international field of veterans to take home the top prize.
A total of 50 athletes competed over course designers Alan Wade and Nigel Jess’ technical first round track, but only seven jumped clear to earn a spot in the jump-off.
With only six opting to return for the tie-breaking round, it was Ali Wolff (USA) and Casall, owned by Blacklick Bend Farm, who set the pace to beat with the first double-clear performance in 40.21 seconds. Yet their conservative time would garner them fifth place in the final standings.
Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS followed with another clear round in 38.23 seconds to take over the lead, but their time would only hold for second place honors in the end. Following Friday’s competition Madden and Breitling LS were also presented the Horse & Style Magazine Style of Riding award and an embroidered Hermès blanket.
Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Toulago, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, also jumped faultlessly around the short course, crossing the finish line in 38.42 seconds, which would be good enough for third place.
Eighteen-year-old Deslauriers and her longtime trusted partner, 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Hester, owned her mother Lisa, were next to challenge the jump-off and finished with no faults in 37.66 seconds to move into first place.
After Catherine Tyree (USA) piloted Mary and Jospeh Tyree’s Enjoy Louis to an 8-fault finish for sixth place, it turned into a father-daughter showdown as seasoned international competitor and father to Deslauriers, Mario, representing Canada, looked to catch his daughter’s time aboard Bardolina, owned by Wishing Well Farm LLC. The pair were not fast enough, stopping the timers in 39.95 seconds for fourth place.
Deslauriers, who placed second in the World Cup qualifying class with Hester at the 2016 American Gold Cup, recently began her senior year of high school, and although she is a renowned competitor throughout the big equitation scene, the teenager has decided to focus her efforts in the jumper ring for her final year as a junior.
Immediately following competition on Friday, the American Gold Cup hosted an exhibitor party at the Grand Prix Overlook with live music for athletes and owners to enjoy after a full day of competing.
The American Gold Cup’s Grand Prix Field picks back up with competition on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 8 a.m. and features an array of jumper classics, including the $35,000 Hermès Sellier Classic and the $86,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* as well as the Region 1 and 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships. The week culminates with the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W as athletes vie for the highly sought-after American Gold Cup on Sunday.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lucy Deslauriers – $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W, presented by Windsor Show Stables, winner
On competing against her dad in the jump-off:
“[My dad] is actually on a younger horse. He’s only 8 years old so I knew he might not have gone as fast as he would have if he was on a more experienced mount, but when he got in there he was decently fast and the horse was jumping really well.”
On her win on Friday:
“It’s incredible – to beat Beezie [Madden] out of the jump-off – I don’t know how to put it into words. She’s someone I’ve watched since I was very little and even watching her in the first round I was in awe. To compete against her in the jump-off and my father and the other young riders, it was extremely competitive and I’m really happy. Sunday is going to be a lot bigger and more careful so it’s going to be a new day. I just have to hope my horse is going well.”
“[Hester] is naturally very fast. He has a huge stride so I knew that if I came in right and just kept kicking he would eat it up, and he did. He was really great. I’ve had him for almost four and a half years. He’s 12 now. I started riding him at Old Salem Farm when he was 8 years old and when I was coming out of the Children’s Jumpers. He was a horse we had gotten earlier in the year for my father and I needed a horse to do the Low Juniors on so we just gave it a try and he’s been incredible. I think my dad’s been super generous and loves to see our partnership grow and is just happy that we can all do it together.”
On transitioning from the equitation to jumpers:
“I think as I step up to the bigger levels, I’m not as comfortable as I had been in the equitation last year. I had been doing that for like five years so I was pretty familiar with the courses and the expectations. Obviously there’s a huge pressure factor in both, but I’m still pretty new at this so there’s a lot to think about.”
On her plan for the rest of the year:
“I’ll ride at the [Rolex Central Park Horse Show] with him next week. He is quite a fresh horse and can be a little bit rude sometimes. I think he’s a little cocky. He’s very spoiled so I just try to get to the bottom of his freshness in the morning, get him listening well and get the rideability I want for the ring. He’s incredible. I’m taking it a little bit easy because of school. We’ll have three weeks, maybe a month off, and then I’ll do Harrisburg, take a week off and do the National [Horse Show].”
Beezie Madden – $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W, presented by Windsor Show Stables, second place
On Breitling LS:
“He felt super out there today. He went beautifully the first round and then in the jump-off I just tried to gallop and let him jump. We could have been faster to the last if I was really on the attack but I just wanted to keep his shape and let him jump out of the gallop and have a nice time in there in the jump-off so I was really happy with him.”
On preparing for Sunday’s grand prix:
“[Breitling LS] will get a light hack tomorrow. Particularly this year, he’s gotten very consistent and is jumping a lot of clear rounds. He’s had a super summer so far so we’re really pleased with him. He’s a stallion but he’s actually pretty easy and sweet. He really doesn’t have any vices or anything like that. He’s just a super, really nice horse to have around.”
On the American Gold Cup:
“It’s fun to come here. We come here in the spring and then we go to Europe or Canada or and come back in the fall. It always feels like coming home. It’s a very nice venue.”
$86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W, presented by Windsor Show Stables
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Hester / Lucy Deslauriers / USA / Lisa T Deslauriers / 0 / 73.84 / 0 / 37.66
2. Breitling LS / Elizabeth Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 71.50 / 0 / 38.23
3. Toulago / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms 1 LLC / 0 / 74.33 / 0 / 38.42
4. Bardolina / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / Wishing Well Farm LLC / 0 / 73.09 / 0 / 39.95
5. Casall / Ali Wolff / USA / Blacklick Bend Farm / 0 / 72.48 / 0 / 40.21
6. Enjoy Louis / Catherine Tyree / USA / Mary & Joseph Tyree / 0 / 74.76 / 8 / 37.84
7. Cassinja S / Charles Jacobs / USA / CMJ Sporthorse, LLC / 0 / 70.26
8. VDL Wizard / Callan Solem / Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC / USA / 1 / 75.52
9. Dolinn / Sayre Happy / USA / Evergate Stables LLC / 1 / 76.37
10. Stranger 30 / Andrew Ramsay / USA / The Stranger Group / 4 / 72.41
11. Lucifer V / Jack Towell / USA / Evergate Stables LLC / 4 / 72.73
12. Robin de Ponthual / Peter Lutz / Katherine Gallagher & M. Michael Meller / USA / 4 / 73.80
13. Nektarina B / Christine McCrea / USA / Candy Tribble / 4 / 73.97
For full results, click here.